Louisiana sports betting handle surpasses $350 million in March

Tram cars in Louisiana
Image: Shutterstock

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has reported that sports betting handle surpassed $350 million in March.

This figure is up from $274.8 million in February and snapped a two-month streak of declining wagering figures. Sports betting handle was also up 41% year-on-year as players wagered $249.3 million in March 2023.

The state’s nine online and mobile sports betting operators contributed $319.4 million to the total handle with a further $30.6 million coming from retail outlets. 

A percentage hold of 11.1% meant that online operators generated $35.5 million in gross revenue, representing a 23.3% increase year-on-year, and is also up on the $30.4 million that the operators made in February.

These latest results mean that gross revenue generated by online operators has exceeded $300 million for the current fiscal year.

Retail operators contributed a further $2.2 million in revenue resulting in a total gross revenue of $37.7 million.

Despite March signaling the start of March Madness, operators cut their promotional spend by almost half for the second month in a row as operators paid out $3.9 million in promotions compared to $6.1 million in February.

Basketball dominates sports betting in March

With the NFL season concluding in February and the NBA and college basketball seasons ramping up, it is no surprise that basketball generated significantly more revenue for operators than any other sport in March. 

Basketball generated $7.3 million for online and mobile operators with retail operators making a further $828,000. Revenue for online operators was up just under $6 million in the same period last year.

No individually listed sports made online operators over $1 million while the catch-all category of other sports netted operators $1.3 million.

Parlay’s made online operators $22.8 million in March, which represents a 14% increase from February and also a 21.9% increase year-on-year from the $17.8 million that operators netted from parlays in March 2023.

Interestingly, retail operators lost over $4 million on football bets in March which may have been caused by players cashing in sizeable Super Bowl bets from February.

Louisiana has a 15% tax rate and March saw online operators pay $4.7 million in tax, with retail outlets contributing a further $167,000.

So far sports betting has contributed $40.1 million to the state in the 2024 fiscal year.

Louisiana pulls college prop bets

Future revenue prospects for operators will be impacted by news that the Louisiana Gaming Board has pulled the plug on college prop bets.

From Aug. 1 operators will no longer be able to offer prop-style bets on college games following pressure from the NCAA.

In March NCAA President Charlie Baker publicly called for a blanket ban on college prop bets due to fears over sporting integrity and student-athlete safety.

The state joined Ohio and Maryland as states to ban these types of bets in 2024 while this month New Jersey legislators also announced that they would consider completely banning college prop bets. Currently, bettors in New Jersey are only prevented from placing prop bets on games featuring in-state colleges.